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The doctrine of his sect whate'er it be, Make proselytes as madmen thirst to do: How can he give his neighbour the real ground, His own conviction? Ardent as he isCall his great truth a lie, why, still the old "Be it as God please" reassureth him. I probed the sore as thy disciple should: "How, beast," said I, "this stolid carelessness "Sufficeth thee, when Rome is on her march "To stamp out like a little spark thy town, "Thy tribe, thy crazy tale and thee at once?" He merely looked with his large eyes on me. The man is apathetic, you deduce? Contrariwise, he loves both old and young, Able and weak, affects the very brutes And birds-how say I? flowers of the fieldAs a wise workman recognizes tools
In a master's workshop, loving what they make.
Thou wilt object-Why have I not ere this Sought out the sage himself, the Nazarene Who wrought this cure, inquiring at the source, Conferring with the frankness that befits? Alas! it grieveth me, the learned leech Perished in a tumult many years ago,
Accused,―our learning's fate,—of wizardry,
And creed prodigious as described to me.
Was wrought by the mad people-that's their wont! On vain recourse, as I conjecture it,
To his tried virtue, for miraculous help
How could he stop the earthquake? That's their way! The other imputations must be lies:
But take one, though I loathe to give it thee,
(And after all, our patient Lazarus
Is stark mad; should we count on what he says?
'Sayeth that such an one was born and lived, Taught, healed the sick, broke bread at his own house, Then died, with Lazarus by, for aught I know, And yet was what I said nor choose repeat, And must have so avouched himself, in fact, In hearing of this very Lazarus
Who saith-but why all this of what he saith?
Thy pardon for this long and tedious case, Which, now that I review it, needs must seem
Unduly dwelt on, prolixly set forth!
Nor I myself discern in what is writ
Then a wind rose behind me. So we met
The very God! think, Abib; dost thou think? So, the All-Great, were the All-Loving tooSo, through the thunder comes a human voice Saying, "O heart I made, a heart beats here! "Face, my hands fashioned, see it in myself! "Thou hast no power nor mayst conceive of mine, "But love I gave thee, with myself to love, "And thou must love me who have died for thee!" The madman saith He said so: it is strange.
(AFTER HE HAS BEEN EXTEMPORIZING UPON THE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT OF HIS INVENTION.) [Dramatis Personæ 1864.]
WOULD that the structure brave, the manifold music I build, Bidding my organ obey, calling its keys to their work,
Claiming each slave of the sound, at a touch, as when Solomon willed
Armies of angels that soar, legions of demons that lurk, Man, brute, reptile, fly,-alien of end and of aim,
Adverse, each from the other heaven-high, hell-deep removed,
Should rush into sight at once as he named the ineffable Name,
And pile him a palace straight, to pleasure the princess he loved!
Would it might tarry like his, the beautiful building of mine,
This which my keys in a crowd pressed and importuned to raise!
Ah, one and all, how they helped, would dispart now and now combine,
Zealous to hasten the work, heighten their master his praise!
And one would bury his brow with a blind plunge down to hell,
Burrow awhile and build, broad on the roots of things, Then up again swim into sight, having based me my palace well,
Founded it, fearless of flame, flat on the nether springs.
And another would mount and march, like the excellent minion he was,
Ay, another and yet another, one crowd but with many a crest,
Raising my rampired walls of gold as transparent as glass, Eager to do and die, yield each his place to the rest: For higher still and higher (as a runner tips with fire, When a great illumination surprises a festal nightOutlining round and round Rome's dome from space to
Up, the pinnacled glory reached, and the pride of my soul was in sight.
In sight? Not half! for it seemed, it was certain, to match man's birth,
Nature in turn conceived, obeying an impulse as I; And the emulous heaven yearned down, made effort to reach the earth,
As the earth had done her best, in my passion, to scale the sky:
Novel splendours burst forth, grew familiar and dwelt with mine,
Not a point nor peak but found and fixed its wandering star;
Meteor-moons, balls of blaze: and they did not pale nor pine, For earth had attained to heaven, there was no more near nor far.
Nay more; for there wanted not who walked in the glare and glow,
Presences plain in the place; or, fresh from the Protoplast,
Furnished for ages to come, when a kindlier wind should blow,
Lured now to begin and live, in a house to their liking at last;
Or else the wonderful Dead who have passed through the body and gone,
But were back once more to breathe in an old world worth their new:
What never had been, was now; what was, as it shall
And what is, shall I say, matched both? for I was made perfect too.
All through my keys that gave their sounds to a wish. of my soul,